KABUL (Reuters) – Eleven people were killed on Thursday in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, including seven U.S. soldiers and three Afghan allies, the NATO-led force in the country said.The cause of the crash, which Afghan authorities said was in the Shah Wali Kot district of the southern province of Kandahar, was under investigation, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.
“The crash resulted in the deaths of four International Security Assistance Force service members, three United States Forces-Afghanistan service members, three members of the Afghan National Security Forces, and one Afghan civilian interpreter,” ISAF said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for shooting down the helicopter, although the insurgents often exaggerate their victories and are quick to claim responsibility for any incident involving the death of foreign troops.
The area where the helicopter went down is an insurgent hotbed and supply route, lying north of Kandahar city near Zabul and Uruzgan provinces.
A spokesman for NATO said all the foreign troops on board the helicopter were American, adding to a grim week in the country which included multiple suicide bombings which killed 63 civilians in one day, most of them shoppers in markets.
The Taliban shot down a CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter in August 2011, killing all 38 people on board, including 25 U.S. special operations soldiers.
(Writing by Rob Taylor; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and Robert Birsel)
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